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7 Automation Tools That Will Save You Time

7 Automation Tools That Will Save You Time

Are you so busy you feel overwhelmed? Are you forever in an endless loop of tasks that don’t go away?

Of course, you are busy. You are living in a Digital Age, where you have more choices available to you than ever before.

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A to-do list is like the laundry. You keep tending to it, but it just replenishes itself, and you have to deal with your chores all over again. What if there was a way for you not to deal with your to-do list, but to let modern technology take care of your pending tasks?

There is a way, and that avenue to freedom from stress is called “automation.”

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Someone once strangely remarked their preference is not to use automation but to do activities manually. We are living in the 21st century. Isn’t that thinking just a bit archaic? Other people try to save time by resorting to following strange productivity tips.

If you’d like to pass on strange and backward thinking, try these automation tools. They cover a wide variety of activities.

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  • Alexa will automate your home. She can tell you the predicted temperature, so you know how to dress. You don’t have to stop using your hands; just ask Alexa to play a song or set an alarm. Her capabilities are currently endless and Amazon updates her functionality consistently. Cost: Approximately $200.00 with parts.
  • Google Inbox saves you time from weeding through your emails by prioritizing them for you. This way, you spend your time looking through what you consider most important. The app shows you categorizes your incoming emails for you. Your choices are trips, purchases, finance, and social, and promotions. If you get the extension, you can also save links you find in your inbox for later. Note, since this is Google’s tool, only your Gmail can be sorted using it. Cost: Free.
  • GetResponse is the amazing automation tool for small and medium-size businesses. If you have an online business, this tool of the future takes care of all your tasks. Think of it as one-stop-shopping since it completes your many tasks for you easily and beautifully. The GetResponse Automation Tool helps you in many ways.  First, you can build your email list since GetResponse will store the emails you currently have. Also, the tool will help you grow your subscriber list. You can use one of GetResponse’s over 500 beautiful pre-made templates, or you can design your own. Last, GetResponse will send your emails and details about conferences such as webinars. It will even organize your webinars for you. Your business will be far more lucrative as a result of GetResponses’s ability to split test and segment your clients. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, GetResponse and the tool’s 24/7 support staff will quickly and effectively help you with your digital marketing needs. Cost: Free 30-day trial. Basic plans start at $15.00 per month.
  • IFTTT (If This, Then That) is based on a cause and effect principle. You connect the causes and the effects you want to happen. For example, if it is going to rain the next day, IFTTT will let you know, so you can dress appropriately and bring an umbrella. Cost: Free.
  • Social media schedulers exist so you can schedule your posts at your convenience. If your friends and relatives are in a different time zone, and you want your posts to appear on Facebook when they are awake and you are asleep, no problem. Schedulers like Buffer and Hootsuite will schedule your social media posts for you, and even pick optimal times when your connections are most likely to see them. Cost: Hootsuite is free; Buffer is free for up to 10 posts in your queue at a time.
  • Tweet Jukebox will then take your social media posts and recycle them, so you only have to type them once, and your message can be replayed, hence the name Tweet Jukebox. Cost: Tweet Jukebox is free.
  • Pinterest schedulers exist so you can reshare your Pinterest pins as often as you want. These scheduling tools are also set for optimal times, or you can manually select the times and the boards you want to pin to. Cost: The price varies depending on the scheduler. For example, Ahalogy and ViralWoot are free; Tailwind starts at $5.00.

Are You Ready to Pick Up More Time in Your Day?

You can turbo charge your life by automating your daily activities with these tools for automation. Why take extra time to do activities when these seven tools will save you time? What will you do with the time you gain?

Featured photo credit: Janice Wald via mostlyblogging.com

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Janice Wald

Teacher, Author, Blogger, Freelance Writer

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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

Loom

There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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